ancient history

  • Preparing Feasts Helped Make Us Human

    Cooking large meals represented a breakthrough in human evolution, both because cooked foods proved easier to digest and support larger brains and because the occasions supported more complex social organization. 

  • Is There a Biblical Solution to the Modern Problem of Debt?

    by Eva von Dassow

    Many are inspired by Old Testament rules for debt jubilees, but, while the practice has a historical basis, that history shows debt forgiveness was part of an unequal society in which forgiving old debts simply enabled the masses to take on new ones. 

  • Yale, Historians Honor the Contributions of Donald Kagan

    Donald Kagan is remembered as a prolific and influential scholar of Ancient Greece and an engaging teacher with a gift for narrative and storytelling. He was also a key figure in the linkage between political conservatism and classical tradition.

  • Mary Beard Keeps History on the Move

    "I spent part of my career lamenting that there weren’t more female authors in the ancient world. Well, you can mourn the lack of those authors forever, but you’re not very likely to find more. But you can engage with how gender is defined."

  • Ancient Egypt for the Egyptians

    New books and a documentary consider the entanglement of colonialism with the rise of academic Egyptology.

  • Searching for Our Urban Future in the Ruins of the Past

    Annalee Newitz's book on lost cities debunks the idea of sudden, catastrophic collapse. But the death of cities does show that humanity is vulnerable to change that makes centuries-old ways of life untenable. 

  • The Original Storming of the Capitol

    by Stephen Dando-Collins

    The January 6, 2021 siege of the Capitol in Washington DC has eerie parallels with a much earlier event, the AD 69 siege of the Capitoline Mount in Rome.

  • Ancient Rome Has an Urgent Warning for Us

    by Kyle Harper

    It's simplistic to look to the classics as instructions for political or social conduct, but the study of the past should inform our awareness of the power of nature to affect social and political life. 

  • The Complicated History of Religion and Archaeology

    Modern archaeology has largely succeeded in instituting professionalization and historical rigor to the study of sites of theological significance, but the discipline has a long and continuing historical entanglement with efforts to find proof of religious doctrines.